It's clear that the University stands or falls with the quality of its faculty. It's the faculty that teach the classes, carry out research, obtain the grants, perform public service, push innovation, etc. The document to be presented to the Regents has some telling data about UC faculty. Here are honors and awards earned by UC faculty
- 56 Nobel Prizes
- 7 Fields Medal (Mathematics)
- 60 National Medal of Science 16
- Pulitzer Prize
- 71 MacArthur Fellowship (“Genius Grant”)
- 377 members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
- 650 members of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science
- 125 members of the Institute of Medicine
- 117 members of the National Academy of Engineering
- 245 members of the National Academy of Sciences
- 56 faculty members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
These fairly static demographics provide the context for present challenges in the recruitment and retention of UC faculty. [...] At a time of reduced State support, growing enrollments, and a steady stream of faculty separating from the university, however, campuses are increasingly concerned about maintaining faculty quality.And of course, faculty salaries continue to lag far behind (about 11.2%) those at peer institutions:
UC has long prided itself for the faculty salary scales, which are supposed to encourage productivity; the scale are now meaningless as a full 65% of general campus faculty are now off-scale. The data on the salary lag above reflect actual salary; the official scales lag even further behind the comparison group (interesting tidbit for those of us receiving on-scale salary and suffering the effects of the "loyalty penalty").
It's no surprise that tenured faculty tend to leave UC, even if salary and benefits are structured to disincentivize such moves. And faculty move pretty much to the same set of high-quality institutions where they initially hired from: Stanford, NYU, USC, Columbia, Michigan etc. (see the document for a list, 640 in the last 10 years).
The report concludes that
To remain leaders in faculty recruitment and retention, UC will need to enhance salary and continue innovative approaches to designing faculty careers for the future. There are clear warning signs that the University must be nimble in this work. [...] The University should plan to address both the needs of its long-serving, productive faculty and the expectations of its future faculty. There are budgetary implications for improving faculty salaries and benefits, and for hiring new faculty at a rate that keeps pace with past and future enrollment growth and increasing faculty retirements, but these must be weighed against the costs of losing current faculty and of not being competitive for top recruits.